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Ecomysticism

Ecomysticism

The Profound Experience of Nature as Spiritual Guide

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Explores the philosophy, science, and spirituality of nature mysticism and its Green calling

• Offers a solid bridge between spiritual practice and environmental activism

• Reveals how we can heal the environment by renewing our connection to it

• Shows how spiritual encounters in nature are healing the Nature Deficit Disorder of our psyches and bodies

Many have been struck by a majestic moment in nature--a sole illuminated flower in a shady grove, an owl swooping silently across a wooded path, or an infinitely starry sky--and found themselves in a state of expanded awareness so profound they can feel the interconnectedness of all life. These trance-like moments of clarity, unity, and wonder often incite a call to protect and preserve the earth--to support Nature as she supports us. Termed “nature mysticism,” people from all cultures have described such experiences. However, the ever-increasing urbanization of the world’s population is threatening this ancient connection as well as the earth itself.

In Ecomysticism, Carl von Essen explores nature mysticism through the recorded experiences of outdoor enthusiasts as well as scientific studies in biology, psychology, and neuroscience. Citing consciousness scholar William James and a variety of well-known nature lovers such as Ansel Adams, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, von Essen shows how the spiritual transcendence from an encounter in nature--like other mystical experiences--is healing the Nature Deficit Disorder of our psyches and bodies, leading to an expansion of our worldview and a clearer understanding of our self and of our natural world. Offering a solid bridge between spiritual practice and environmental activism, von Essen’s spiritual ecology reveals how only through a renewal of humanity’s spiritual connection to nature can we effect true environmental healing.
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  • Bear & Company | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781591431183 | 
  • October 2010
List Price $18.00
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 2
The Hunter


Hunting is the master behavior pattern of the human species.
--William Laughlin

The Alert Man

Until about ten thousand years ago (an iota of evolution) we were all hunters and foragers, living in daily intimacy with all surrounding life. That evolutionary period of competitive success and brain enlargement, achieved through organization and the use of tools, has profoundly affected the engrams (neural connections) of our psyche. The brain of our forebears rapidly enlarged over a relatively short time. By 100,000 years ago that hallmark of our species, “a... see more

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